Backgammon – 3 Main Schemes

In exceptionally simple terms, there are three main tactics used. You want to be agile enough to switch strategies quickly as the course of the match unfolds.

The Blockade

This involves building a 6-thick wall of pieces, or at a minimum as deep as you can manage, to block in your opponent’s checkers that are located on your 1-point. This is deemed to be the most acceptable course of action at the begining of the game. You can build the wall anywhere within your 11-point and your two-point and then shift it into your home board as the game continues.

The Blitz

This consists of closing your home board as quick as as you can while keeping your challenger on the bar. e.g., if your opposer tosses an early two and shifts one checker from your one-point to your 3-point and you then roll a 5-5, you can play 6/1 6/1 8/3 8/3. Your competitor is now in big-time calamity considering that they have 2 checkers on the bar and you have locked half your inside board!

The Backgame

This plan is where you have 2 or more pieces in your competitor’s inner board. (An anchor spot is a position consisting of at least 2 of your checkers.) It should be used when you are decidedly behind as this plan greatly improves your chances. The best locations for anchors are towards your opponent’s lower points and also on adjacent points or with a single point separating them. Timing is crucial for an effectual backgame: after all, there’s no point having 2 nice anchors and a complete wall in your own inner board if you are then required to dismantle this straight away, while your competitor is getting their checkers home, because you don’t have any other spare pieces to move! In this case, it’s more favorable to have checkers on the bar so that you are able to preserve your position up till your challenger gives you an opportunity to hit, so it can be an excellent idea to attempt and get your competitor to hit them in this case!

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